Art, public transportation blend together with ‘Van Go’


In late March through early April, the Haggin Museum and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District announced a collaboration on a project called RTD Van Go.

Director of Marketing and Customer Engagement Terry Williams is in charge of promoting it to the community as a new alternative of transportation and a benefit to those in need.

RTD Van Go is a new type of transportation taking a group of people on a one-way trip without any stops like a bus does. 
On top of bringing more joy to riders, it will also reduce traffic in the city.

By having this as a form of transportation, it reduces the hassle of having time wasted.

Haggin’s involvement to this was helping RTD with the displays of art for the bus and to hire artists to draw on the bus. This is also to get people to enjoy and know more about Vincent Van Gogh and his art.

The name of their bus service Van Go is a reference to the famous painter’s last name ‘Van Gogh.’ 

Why it’s called Van Go is during the process it was brought up how his last name sounds similar to saying ‘Van’ and ‘Go’ which they found funny and decided to go with the play on words.

The artwork on the buses are replicas of famous paintings done by Van Gogh. It’s also a fun way to promote the new project.

“Instead of going to art, art comes to you,” said Williams.

Riders can also transfer from the Van Go bus to a regular bus for free with a pre-purchased pass. 

There are four zones for the on-demand service: Stockton, Manteca, Lodi and Tracy.

A ride costs $4 per person or you and three friends for the same price. For seniors they receive discounts to $3. Traveling from one zone to the other will cost an additional $4.

RTD held a grand opening for the Van Go route on April 10 at the Haggin Museum.

The idea of this originated when RTD wanted to make transportation easier for riders and make it enjoyable, leading to the idea of having painted artwork on their new buses.

RTD contacted the museum and agreed to it and hired an artist to replicate famous artwork of Van Gogh as the bus design.

Nothing is going to change in the bus system. This is just to help out those who don’t want to deal with all the stops.

“It’s designed to not get rid of the bus but to supplement it,” said Williams.

This benefits the community by providing a faster way if you need to go to work, school, or home. The line also serves the rural areas of San Joaquin County.

“It’s accessible and safer option for them and will have the driver trained and ready to help them in need,” said Williams.

William points out that this benefits students as a way to go to school saying, “teens aren’t going to drive and take the bus to school and this benefits them.”